"Pope Benedict’s action this week seeks to destroy the evidence, which is the point. If he were to have his declaration hoisted as a sign, it would say: “The Holocaust was the work of a few Nazis, period.” In fact, that has been a theme of his controversial papal statements on the subject. In Cologne, in 2005, he told an audience of German Jews that Nazi anti-Semitism “was born of neo-paganism,” as if it were unrelated to the long history of Christian anti-Judaism, embodied in the “Christ-killer” slander, and preached from nearly every Christian pulpit nearly every Good Friday for more than a thousand years. Speaking at Auschwitz in 2006, Benedict blamed the Holocaust “on a ring of criminals,” an exoneration of the larger German nation that is almost unheard of among the impressively self-critical Germans of Benedict’s generation. At the death camp, he went on to make the astonishing claim that by eliminating Jews, the Nazis were “ultimately” attacking the church. He complained of God’s silence, but not of the previous pope’s," - Jim Carroll, whose Practicing Catholic was one of my favorite books of the year.

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